Additional sources support health benefits of protein for the elderly
People with low protein intake have higher bone and lean muscle mass loss:
- The scientific community and health authorities such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) agree that protein from diet has a beneficial effect on the whole lean body mass, including muscle mass6.
- The European Food Safety authority also states that protein is essential for the growth and maintenance of bones. Bone mass is at its maximum between ages 25 and 35 years and after this, there is a gradual decrease, which becomes more prominent with time6.
Older adults should seek to get enough protein through a healthy and balanced diet, and/or with the support of high quality nutritional supplements.
To learn more, read about Maintaining Mobility and The Allies for Healthy Aging.
1. Hartz, S. C. (1992) The WSS study population. In: Nutrition in the Elderly: The Boston Nutritional Status Survey (Hartz, S. C., Russell, R. M. & Rosenberg, J. H., eds.), London, Smith-Gordon, pp. 17–25.
2. Houston, D.K. et al. Dietary protein intake is associated with lean mass change in older, community dwelling adults: the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study. Am J Clin Nutr 87, 150-155 (2008).
3. Bauer J, et al. Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE Study Group. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013;14(8):542-59.
Mithal A, et al. Impact of nutrition on muscle mass, strength, and performance in older adults. Osteoporos Int. 2013;24(5):1555-66.
Deutz NE, et al. Protein intake and exercise for optimal muscle function with aging: Recommendations from the ESPEN Expert Group. Clin Nutr. 2014.
4. Rizzoli, R. et al. The role of dietary protein and vitamin D in maintaining musculoskeletal health in postmenopausal women: A consensus statement from the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ESCEO).
5. Yanai H. Nutrition for Sarcopenia. J Clin Med Res. 2015 Dec; 7(12): 926–931.
6. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in a scientific opinion in 2010: “Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to protein and increase in satiety leading to a reduction in energy intake (ID 414, 616, 730), contribution to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight (ID 414, 616, 730), maintenance of normal bone (ID 416) and growth or maintenance of muscle mass (ID 415, 417, 593, 594, 595, 715) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006” https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1811